The next president will likely appoint 2 or 3 supremes and literally hundreds of circuit and appellate court judges that will shape the landscape of our nation for decades.
John McCain has declared that he will appoint “Strict constructionists” who apply the law as written without partiality. That’s what the Constitution he has sworn many times to uphold demands.
Barack Obama has declared that his litmus test for judges will be someone with “empathy.”
“We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that’s the criteria by which I’m going to be selecting my judges.” (http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/07/17/274143.aspx).
It sounds really compassionate until you consider that the US government is divided into three separate branches for the express purpose of providing checks and balances so no branch can abuse its power. It is the job of the Congress to make laws. It is the job of the judiciary to apply them impartially. They even take an oath to do so!
“28 U.S.C. 453: Oaths of Justices and judges“I, XXX XXX, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as XXX under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”
As a lawyer and sitting Senator one would presume that Barack Obama knows this. Is it his objective to thwart the Constitution? The possibility of a super majority in congress means that he will be able to appoint judges that will enact legislation that he and Pelosi and Reid were unable to pass.
If Senator Obama desires empathetic laws then he should stay in the Senate and write them.